When you’re young, everything feels like a massive deal. The most minor inconveniences seem like the end of the world and you stress over things that, in the long run, will make very little difference to your life as a whole. Of course, it’s hard to recognize that in the moment, which is why getting older is such a gift. By the time you hit your 30s, you stop caring so much about certain things, and your whole life improves as a result.
1. Missing out on what’s going on at the bar/club on the weekend
When you were in your 20s, you’d literally drag yourself out of the house half-dead to avoid missing out on the social scene every weekend. If there was a party going on or friends were hitting the local bar for drinks on Saturday night, you were there, no matter how much you didn’t actually want to be. By the time you hit your 30s, you’d much rather get some comfy PJs on and order some Uber Eats than stand around in uncomfortable shoes paying over the odds on cocktails with barely any alcohol in them. FOMO who?
Talking crap about people you don’t like is a pastime of teenagers and twentysomethings who haven’t gotten their priorities in order and who lack the maturity to realize that the only person who looks bad as a result of gossip is the person doing it. By your 30s, you’re pretty happy to let people get on with their lives however they see fit. If it doesn’t affect you, why should it bother you?
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4. Saying yes out of obligation
People-pleasing tendencies are real and they’re incredibly damaging. When you’re younger, it’s harder to have a backbone and say no because you just want people to like you and you don’t want to let anyone down. You soon realize as time goes by that this only makes you feel exhausted, resentful, and kinda miserable.
5. Getting at the very front for a concert
All my people in their 30s know just how obnoxious it is to be pushed past by a group of teenagers who showed up an hour after doors opened but still think they deserve to have a place up against the barriers at a concert. That was probably you a decade ago, but not anymore. Not only are you not interested in getting to the front by the time you hit your 30s, but you probably even try to get seated tickets instead of standing when they’re available. Priorities!
6. What other people are doing
In your teens and 20s, you spend so much time worrying about what everyone else is up to. Part of it is sheer nosiness, and part of it comes down to comparing yourself to other people to see how you stack up. You’re worried that everyone else is getting ahead of you and you don’t want to be left behind. That, or you want to feel superior by feeling like you’re leading the pack. By the time you hit your 30s, you care about this way less.
7. Trying to fit in
Everyone wants to be popular and well-liked, but pretending to be someone you’re not or dulling your shine to make that happen is something people in their 30s are not here for anymore. They’re not just cool with being who they are, they insist on it because they know being 100% authentic is the only way to go. They march to the beat of their own drum, and it’s actually pretty refreshing.
8. Pointless drama
Drama is exciting and kind of addicting when you’re younger, but by the time you hit your 30s, you tend to want a simpler life, devoid of unnecessary histrionics and molehills that have been made into mountains. You don’t have enough time or energy to deal with stuff that just doesn’t matter, so you avoid it at all costs.
9. Whether or not people you don’t even like really like you
Similar to no longer caring about fitting in, you also stop caring about whether or not people like you by your 30s. You have enough wisdom and life experience that you’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, just like there are certain people who really aren’t yours. That means you don’t stress if people don’t like you — it’s their loss and really no big deal. You have plenty of people who do see and appreciate you, and that really matters.
10. Impressing people
This isn’t to say that you don’t try to make good first impressions, rather that you don’t go out of your way putting on airs and trying to seem overly accomplished or special. You may very well be both of those things (you totally are!), but you trust that those qualities will come through naturally rather than via some grandiose peacocking display.
11. Holding grudges over stupid stuff
When you’re young, you can literally hold a grudge over someone eating the last slice of pizza three months ago. However, in your 30s, you realize that life is too short to hold onto anger or ill will over little things. Obviously, you have enough self-respect that you don’t allow people to treat you poorly, but you’re also able to distinguish between serious offenses and little things that are more annoying than anything else. You know how to pick your battles and, like Elsa sang, “let it go.”
12. People thinking you’re weird
When you’re unabashedly you, there are times when you’re going to do or say things or even hold certain interests that other people find to be eccentric or a bit strange. Oh well! Trying to be cool and appeal to the status quo may be your first instinct in your teens and 20s, but by your 30s, “weird” is almost more of a positive desciptor than one you’re desperate to avoid. It means you’re doing your own thing, and that’s admirable.
13. Trying to have some exciting, Instagram-worthy life
You have to feel bad for kids who are literally growing up with social media because it means they’ll never get a real perspective on what matters in life. When you’re flooded with celebs and influencers whose lives seem like an endless adventure full of glamor, luxury, and excitement, it can make you feel like your own life pales in comparison. However, as you get into your 30s, you realize that what you see on social media is everyone’s highlight reals, NOT their real life. You’re good living in reality, not some sanitized, airbrushed version people are trying to peddle online.
14. Making a huge deal about non-milestone birthdays
You probably went all out for your 18th and 21st birthdays, and so you should! They mark momentous occasions (or so you thought at the time). In fact, every single year, your birthday was likely an occasion. However, by the time you hit 30, you stop caring about the non-milestone years. Turning 33 is a privilege, obviously, but it doesn’t require a massive celebration – a low-key dinner with your closest friends will do just fine.
15. Pretending you have it all figured out/together
No one does, not at any age, and if they claim otherwise, they’re lying. It’s as simple as that.
16. Equating money with happiness
When you’re young and naive, it’s easy to think that being moderately wealthy would solve all of life’s problems and make you the happiest person on earth. And while cash flow obviously does make your life way less stressful (which thereby increases your contentedness), people in their 30s know that what Biggie sang about in the ’90s is often true: mo money, mo problems.
17. Holding onto toxic friends
Cutting people out of your life who are nothing but trouble can be hard when you’re younger. You worry that you’ll regret getting rid of them or that you’re somehow making a mistake. By the time you reach your 30s, however, it’s sayonara to those losers without a second thought. Again, you’re aware by now that life is too short to hang on to people who don’t serve you and only bring you down.
18. Wearing the most expensive clothes/accessories
If younger you thought the epitome of cool was wearing t-shirts with huge brand names splashed across the front and the latest and greatest sneaker releases, the older, wiser you knows that’s kinda tacky and looks incredibly cheap. It’s all about quiet luxury in your 30s — wearing things that look great, are good quality, but don’t necessarily cost an arm and a leg. Priorities!
19. Keeping up with current trends
Obviously, you’re not falling so far behind that you’re like, “What’s a TikTok?” but you’re not so caught up in following the latest trends and hacks that you’re losing valuable money and time over it. When you’re in your 30s, you know what you like and while you’re open to trying new things, you’re not going to hop on any bandwagons that don’t appeal to you just for the sake of being “with it.” No thanks!
20. Trying to look hot for attention from guys/girls
You look hot for you these days, and it happens effortlessly. You wear what makes you love what you see in the mirror and you do your hair, nails, etc. because it boosts your self-confidence, not because it’s going to get you loads of dates. (That’s just an added bonus.)
21. Dating for the sake of it
If you don’t like the person, you’re not going out with them — end of story. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t been on a date in a while or if your best friend is pressuring you or you feel like a loser because you’re not “putting yourself out there.” If it doesn’t feel right, you don’t do it. That’s the glory that comes with being in your 30s.
22. Hitting life milestones — having kids, getting married, buying a house — by a certain age
There is no one right time to do anything in life, and when you’re in your 30s, you realize that. Things happen in their own good time and you can’t rush them. No sense in trying, right?